Free Singing Lessons With Christina Aguilera!
ABC Studios Singing Guitar and Bass Lessons
From The Studio: How would you like free singing Lessons with Christina Aguilera?
More to the point: how much would you pay to get lessons with Christina if she was available? You can study with Christina Aguilera anytime you want. And for free. How?
There are many ways but they all involve two things: Study and hard work. Christina Aguilera is an experienced professional singer who has performed in many styles, in many different contexts and languages. So you could say that she knows what she is doing. So how do you study with Christina Aguilera for free?
Listen to her singing. When I say listen I do not mean that you should put on a Christina Aguilera track and talk to your friends about how cool she is, check your Facebook page and then make a coffee. Instead you can use a technique that I call 'looping'. You take short sections of the song, maybe one line, or even a few words, maybe even one word and listen carefully to the sounds that Christina makes. Every vowel and every consonant has time. Is has pitch, it has tone, it has meaning. The first thing you can do is to track these sounds and try to get your voice to match exactly what you are hearing.
When I was a child I had to share a room with two brothers. Brother John played the drums while brother Julian played guitar and bass. We would play along with the records and attempt to match the sounds we were hearing on the recordings. When I got a little older I would listen to short sections of the record, then lift up the needle of the record and sing or play what I wanted to copy, put the needle back down and listen to the next phrase. I found the bass the hardest to learn. At the time I did not know it but the speaker in the record-player we had was so small that it probably did not even reproduce the bass note properly, so I had to guess the notes. Also in those days the recordings were usually out-of-tune. This occurred for several reasons. I could explain why but that would have to be in another posting. the point is that we had to learn music by listening. I learnt to read music at high school. but there was no sheet-music for the music we wanted to perform and even if there was it would not have had enough detail to make it sound authentic.So we learnt music by listening. Listening in detail and reproducing the music. Years later I would hear people playing the same music by reading from sheet music and I was surprised because it did not sound right. It sounded like a cartoon version or caricature of the original.
I was writing about Christina Aguilera though. To learn from Christina try a YouTube clip where she is actually singing, not a music video where the voice is dubbed. By observing a live clip you can also see details like stagecraft, microphone placement, demeanour, stagecraft and a host of other important aspects of her singing. Take a song like Hurt for example.
Listen to that first phrase,
"Seems like it was yesterday when you walked away"
and before going on, play the phrase again and try to sing the phrase exactly as you hear it. Listen to where the breath is, listen to the pitch and make sure you are singing the same notes. Try to match the intensity of sound, and in particular aim to match the length of each individual sound in the phrase. When she sings 'Seems like it was yesterday' note the length of the 's' sound and match it. Go over it not once, not twice, at least five times. As many times as you need to make it sound cool just like Christina. Listen to the word 'proud'. Note the way she sings the first sound of that word, almost like a 'b' sound. If you push air through the microphone you can get a popping sound from the excessive wind, so be careful. Listen carefully to the next phrase 'If only I knew..' Wow. There is a lot of music in the short phrase! On the word 'I' she sings three notes. [G4 A4 G4], then at the end of the word 'knew' hear that short high-pitched note? The sob. 'Knew' begins on an F# then right at the end of the note she touches very lightly another note, around A4. Try to sing this note then the whole phrase. Then all the first line. If you need to sing this line fifty-times then sing it fifty times. Just get it right. Now you might be saying to yourself. "Man that is so slow! when am I going to get to sing the whole song?" Well just be patient and learn. Remember that to sing brilliantly like an experienced professional you need to work hard, put in the long hours and learn the details.
Of course there is so much more to singing this song than what we have covered here. we could talk about character and meaning, tone and dynamics and other things. Hair and makeup even. The point is you can study Christina Aguilera's voice anytime you want. Even if you could afford to study with her, maybe she would not want to go into so much detail. She after all has already learnt to sing!
Of course working with a good singing teacher you can also learn about notes and how to produce them, breathing, and many other details. People have sung music for thousands of years. We know how the voice works so there are no secret techniques, 'breakthrough' methods, nor any teachers who have a monopoly on knowledge. A good teacher can help you, and introduce you to concepts and skills, but you have to do the hard work. Learn to listen. Christina Aguilera did. So get started and enjoy yourself while you do it. You, I am sure will be very glad you did.
Finally remember that music is a fickle mistress. If you leave her alone she will forget about you. So study, practise, and perform every day. Make music your number one priority. The reward is having a life full of music.
Stephen Galvin teachers Singing Lessons at ABC Studios in the Auckland City Centre.
ABC Studios. Music First.
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